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« 5 Tool "Players" and the Future is in the Creativity and Energy of the Next Generation of Scholars | Main | Happy Holidays 2021 from the FA Hayek Program at Mercatus »


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Your book looks really interesting and I’m looking forward to reading it. But I have been convinced by Huntington and Harrison (Culture Matters) and Helmut Schoeck (Envy: A Theory of Social Behavior) that religion determines our institutions. The real debate between capitalists and socialists is over human nature. Socialists believe we are born good and turn bad only because of oppression. The state can perfect humanity by ridding society of oppression.

Capitalism depends on the ancient Christian doctrine of original sin. Even atheists like Hume agreed with that doctrine. Capitalism says human nature is data and only God can change it. So as Hume wrote, we should design out institutions as if every politician and bureaucrat were a knave. Capitalism insists on very limited government because politicians are not angels.

Schoeck demonstrates that society creates institutions on the basis of the level of envy in it. Envy dominated the world for most of human history so societies created institutions that satisfied the most envious and crushed innovation. Christianity suppressed envy enough to allow for innovation and economic growth only in the 17th century and only in the Dutch Republic, then England and Anglo countries

Unconvinced. The inability of these scholars to develop cogent and succinct arguments leaves me Unconvinced that their effort will ever be fruitful. I would suggest that they more clearly articulate first principles. Then move to graphically depict the nomological network that they currently ponderously and circuitously present. This will ensure they actually grasp what they say and communicate the ideas clearly. I suspect that much of this work is merely verbal description that obfuscates the true nature of their thought.

I was just wondering, since prof. Boettke is interested in understanding how the transition from socialism affected countries of the post-communist region, whether he heard about this brand New monumental book, by two Hungarians, called "The Anatomy of Post-Communist regimes". It is a huge and I think, brilliant book which creates a brand new, easy to use and easy to understand framework of understanding, that can help us get a grip on these regimes. I highly recommend it, it's a great hit here in Europe, and it's available online completely free:

Az i understand, one of the two authors, Mr. Madlovics is in fact an Austrian type thinker. Their work moves mainly on Weberian lines, but I wouldn't be able to do it justice in a comment. You gotta see at least the table of content.

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